There is little doubt that these agencies are wanted by people and are used. They more or less guarantee that one can buy a ticket, albeit at a price over the face value. Many concerts these days do sell out and if fans are prepared to sacrifice their tickets for money that seems reasonable enough. Or does it?
Two things concern me that mitigate some of the above
- Some people buy tickets through setting up numerous email addresses and credit cards with the sole purpose of re-selling the tickets. To be fair sellers do try and limit this by imposing various maximum number of tickets limits on what they can do.
- That some of these agencies are in fact run by the primary ticket sellers themselves. Is this a problem? Maybe. Lets give an example where it is a problem. I was buying tickets, or attempting to, for a concert where ” presale” tickets went on sale 9 am wednesday morning. Resale codes and knowledge of such sales tend to go the fan clubs and those that follow the mailings or accounts of the various bands. No issue with that. Real fans deserve a chance to buy first, if they have been buying the records, merchandise etc. However by 10 am tickets were already on sale on the re-selling market websites confirming that in fact some buyers had zero intention of doing anything other than selling their tickets on at a large profit. That same company owned both the selling of the tickets and the re-selling , so they were clearly complicit in this. The remainder of the tickets then went on sale friday 9 am. I will not cite the actual company nor event simply because this is common . However An example might be Seatwave.com who are a re-selling company and are part of Ticketmaster as are GetMeIn. For those not so familiar it is not uncommon for such tickets to be priced well over £100 and sometimes over £500. A random example right now on SeatWave.com. Tickets for Noel Gallagher in Liverpool 25th April 2016 are found ranging from £52-£150.
This morning I got an email from Stubhub.
Stand Up For Your Right To Buy And Sell Tickets
The Government have launched an independent review into the laws around event ticket resale, and event organisers are pushing hard for new laws which will restrict your right to buy and resell spare tickets at the last minute for sold out events.
We believe that fans should be free to resell tickets for events which they can no longer attend, especially when they are routinely denied refunds by event organisers.
We have therefore launched a petition calling for a clear legal right for fans to be able to resell spare tickets without restrictive terms and conditions being imposed by event organisers.
If you value the right to buy and sell tickets safely and securely on a website of your choice, please lend your voice to our campaign and sign our petition.
Thank you for your support.
The StubHub Team
Should I sign this petition? Part of me wants to as there needs to be a market to indeed sell on unwanted tickets. But a larger part of me says that by doing so I am propagating the exact issue that I have highlighted above.
What is really required is a middle ground where re-selling of tickets cannot take place until all the tickets have been sold, where different companies act as sellers and re-sellers, so there can be no actual nor perceived conflict of interest and whereby somehow those that buy to sell are somehow dissuaded from doing this.
This is becoming an increasingly important market, concert tickets and it is important that the real fans can always have a fair chance of getting tickets. Logging onto a website at 9 am and being told at 9.05 am that all the tickets have gone is curious as there are few events that truly this will happen for. So have a read, have a think, if you have teenagers who are concert goers as them their views and vote in my poll.
Please share this too, as it is important that this gets discussed openly and clearly, as there are far more issues than Stubhub might want us to consider before signing their petition.
Finally there is an additional issue which impinges on the above. That some tickets for concerts never actually go on sale. They are sold separately at higher price. This is not so relevant to the above issues but will of course inflate prices if fewer tickets are sold at anything like the face value of the ticket. Ticketmaster are an example here. and i quote from their website
“About Ticketmaster Platinum
What are Platinum Tickets?
Platinum Tickets are some of the best available tickets to concerts and other events made available by artists and event organisers though Ticketmaster. They give fans fair and safe access to some of the best seats in the house at market driven prices.
Are Platinum Tickets resale tickets?
No these are not resale tickets. Platinum Tickets are being sold for the very first time through Ticketmaster. The prices are adjusted according to supply and demand, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold. The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the best tickets, while allowing the artists and everyone involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true value.
Why can’t I buy Platinum Tickets for certain events?
Currently Platinum Tickets are not available for all events. Be sure to check Ticketmaster often as new events are continually being added.”